Excerpt: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is a very entertaining game by Pandemic, the makers of Star Wars: Battlefront and Destroy All Humans!, featuring gameplay that is, in the most basic terms, Grand Theft Auto meets the military. However, that simplification doesn’t do the game, or any of its elements, justice.
Excerpt: The sub-heading for Mercenaries is ‘Playground of Destruction’ . It sums up the game nicely; if you crave wanton destruction then you will probably be in your element playing this. On the other hand, those of you hoping for a good war-based alternative to Grand Theft Auto (like much of the hype before the game’s release lead us to believe) will likely feel a twinge of disappointment.
Excerpt: There isn't much in the gaming world that can stand up to the sheer fun experienced when the player can implement their own ideas successfully. Mercenaries caters to this feeling very well indeed, allowing enough freedom for the player to feel like they have really achieved something when their meticulously planned raid on a North Korean base plays out without a hitch.
Killing-for-profit game definitely isn't for kids.
Common Sense Media
29 September 2006
Summary: Parents need to know that death and destruction are constant in this game. The violence is very real and bodies go flying, although there's little blood. Playing as killers for hire, players jack cars, take hostages, and mow down enemies for profit, not any noble cause.
Excerpt: The phrase “…like Grand Theft Auto , but...” has become a staple of game designs in the past year or so. Games from all genres, from platformers to even some sports titles, have, in one way or another, felt the influence of GTA ’s free-form gameplay elements. Mercenaries is one such title that owes a lot to the GTA series, but don’t dismiss it as just another GTA wannabe. Presentation is one of the many high points in Mercenaries .
Excerpt: There are few people more despicable than mercenaries. By definition, they are those who have chosen to indulge in acts of violence motivated only by personal profit. Mercenaries don't believe in anything other than getting paid, and while that attitude might be encouraged among musicians and professional athletes, when the person's primary job responsibility is murder, I can't imagine many people would defend it as a valid career choice.
Excerpt: Ahhh. Death, destruction and extreme violence: how better than to spend a cold winter's evening. In fact, it's a great way to spend any evening. Blowing stuff up generally appeals to our inner warrior, and the more spectacular the explosion, the more compelling this psychopathic indulgence becomes. Hence, Pandemic's latest blow 'em up, Mercenaries, has us cackling incessantly in a blood-curdlingly menacing fashion.
Excerpt: At first glance Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction might seem to be just another Grand Theft Auto wanna-be, but it manages to generate a generous amount of elbow room for itself in the genre. Instead of wanton destruction and thuggery, it focuses on a hired soldier who accepts missions for various fictional factions (and dishes out some wanton destruction).
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: This is what gaming was like before the bevy of online services hit the streets. Mercenaries just goes to show you how great an awesome single player game can be. A gamer's dream - pick it up for your own good.